Sog.: Sergio Amidei, Vincenzo Talarico Luigi Zampa; Scen.: Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari, Luigi Zampa; F.: (1,85:1) Carlo Carlini; Mo.: Eraldo Da Roma; Scgf.: Piero Poletto; caratterizzazioni: Piero Gherardi; Co.: Lucia Mirisola; Mu.: Piero Piccioni; A. regia: Paolo Bianchini; Int.: Nino Manfredi (Omero Battiferri), Gino Cervi (Salvatore Acquamano), Salvo Randone (medico antifascista), Michèle Mercier (Elvira, la maestra), Gastone Moschin (Carmine Passante), Rosalia Maggio (Donna Nunzia), Linda Sini (Elsa), Dolores Palumbo (signora De Vincenzi), Françoise Prévost (la figlia del medico), Angela Luce (Rosa De Bellis), Giuseppe Ianigro
(Nicola De Bellis), Mario Pisu (Peppino, gerarca romano); Prod.: Achille Piazzi per Spa Cinematografica, Incei Film; v.c. n. 37354 del 18/04/1962; Pri. pro.: 21 aprile 1962
35mm. D.: 110′. Bn.
At the beginning of the Sixties, comedies, about the twenty year period of fascism became a fashion, and Zampa’s is one of the most transparent and ferocious. The Gogolian story (The Government Inspector) triggers a kind of comedy of errors that sees the insurance broker Manfredi mistaken for an important fascist party official inspecting a provincial town. But there aren’t only compelling caricatures and comedians, fruit of the synergy between the greatest screenwriters and actors of Italian cinema. At a certain point there is no more laughing, when Manfredi sees the decline and misery of an Italy that fascism pretends not to see and that till nowadays absurdly believes in it.
In l’Unità Ugo Casiraghi, who had since come to his senses after Anni difficili, praised the film: “Zampa’s satire is brilliantly and effectively biting… and it allows us to consider how much reality and habits of the ‘dark twenty years’ live on in our times.”
Zampa continued, nonetheless, having a hard time; after the dockworkers of Genoa had threatened the shooting of Il magistrato, after the local police had demanded Il vigile be confiscated, MSI supporters attacked him while he was shooting the film in Ostuni.